Tuesday, August 25, 1998

Tara And Ethyl Cop Altitude: Part III

Tara And Ethyl Cop Altitude [Part III: The Final Struggle]

The following is the Oleaginous Intro by a Patronizing EuroAmerican. He is seated in an overstuffed wingchair on a set decorated to look like an Auld Englishe Country House. He of course drives a Country Squatter Towne & Country [specific town and country available on request] provided by the sponsor.

His hands are steepled, and he smirks slightly as he faces the audience. He puts away his racing form as the red light comes on. Take my word for it, because this is radio.

"When we last left Tara and Ethyl, they had completed Parts I & II of Copping Altitude. Let's now join our hapless duo as they undertake Part III: The Final Struggle..." The parts of Byron and "Giftshop Turquoise" were faithfully portrayed by Byron and Ms Leslie, in that order.

DAY 1, MILEAGE MINORA: "The 38-Special"

Ethyl, Tara and Byron are driving the warp-speed-capable Chevy Oxnard. It has two hamsters under the hood. One is a crack addict, and the other has an eating disorder. The car is climbing up to Big Mtn. Suddenly Tara sees a moose with it's calf. Tara waves and smiles at the moose. The moose has a bumpersticker on it's butt that says "I BRAKE FOR HALLUCINATIONS"

"Gosh! That moose is something! Hey Ethyl, perhaps you wanna step outside and play with it...I'll take your picture!"

"Thanks Tara, but if I did I'd have to tell the calf that you partied with it's momma a while back!"'

The idea evaporates and the Rental Car That Could plows on. Ethyl was trying to sew the button eyes back on his Eyore slippers. In another five minutes they'd be at the start, and his fingers were sewn onto the slippers.

***
Fifteen miles later they are at Lamb's Cyn. Byron greets them with his patented blend of reserve and effusion. They make plans to come back there tomorrow, and decide to leave the keys in the Dead Sheep Hide-A-Key. I guess these are common in Utah, they fall off trucks all the time on the Interstates. Beats having a Dog-Doo Hide-A-Key like everyone else in your subdevelopment.

Up and over BearAss Pass they go. Pretty soon it's gonna be UpperBigWater, then Brighton. Gosh! After 38 miles the day's not even 7/8 shot! More fun tomorrow!!!

DAY 2, MILEAGE MAJORA: "The Hummer of 42"

Now they are four. After Friday's fandango, they went out to the airport and put on clerical collars and panhandled $54.40 in change while waiting for "Giftshop Turquoise", the lone femme of The Few, We Happy Few. As she drove our previously mentioned two-plus-one, the term "CF Bonanza" came up. It was a phrase that was to have Special Resonance, a haunting refrain, a Lite-Motif of Our Times.

Today they drove back to Lamb's Cyn. The goal was Cascade Springs, 42 miles hence. The course was level and paved, excepting the inconveniently intruding sections that were unpaved and horizontally challenged. It was put to an "up-or-down" vote. Observers saw evidence of ballot tampering, but mainly everyone tried not to be the first to put the Dead Sheep Hide-A-Key on top of the car.

Tara was gone from Ethyl within an hour, a brilliant symphony of frilly-sox and sartorial enthusiasm. Ethyl also knew that Tara coveted the sheep, but was powerless to restrain selfishness and cupidity. Ethyl pondered the mysteries of CarboPlex.

By UpperBigWater [again] the VeloBarnies and -Betties were suiting up and getting ready to Do A Big Ride. Maybe about 12 miles or so, which takes a lot of Gu, PowerBars [in their log-like state], and fancy clothing. Gosh, throw in about $3000 worth of bike and accessories, and it prices out to about $1.65 a mile. But that's if you don't take Big Air and rearrange your teeth. Ethyl was grateful for the bulk-loading, Melrose Place house dresses, and Eyore slippers.

Over the top to Brighton, a short and frisky 23 miles Into It All. It was a Total VeloWeenie Fest. Goshamighty, they looked tired! Must not be enough cayenne in their diets. Tara was now a distant pillar of fire. Ethyl was Feeling Mighty Real. He found their car in the Brighton lot. After swapping out bottles, he hid the key back under the sheep and was off ike a prom-dress over Catherine Pass.

Later, at Cascade Springs, the afternoon looked like a heroic saga written small by a dwarf with writer's cramp. Ethyl drew himself up to his full post-run height of 3'11", which is alarming given that his quads were 36" in diameter. Our lads were Looking Forward To Tomorrow.

DAY 3: Cluster-Fuck Bonanza at the Ponderosa: "Climb Any Mountain"

Murphy The Lawgiver was waiting for our duo this morning. In the interests of brevity and bandwidth, suffice it to say that at 5 miles, where Beaver Pond Meets Willow Thrash our boyz took a wrong turn. They contoured up a vertical sheep trail. They knew this wasn't right and they came back down.

"Jeepers, Tara...these damn willows are a brick wall"
"You bet Ethyl, and this rock looks real familiar, I'm sure we went this way!"

The magic door remained closed, locked from the Other Side. So they ascended. Out on knob, they surveyed the drainages extending to the east. This was a Murphy-style knobber. After some forelock-tugging and butt-scratching, our Dynamic Duo elected to ascend through gerbil-sized holes in the shrub. It was a real Hollywood-style step workout. When they made the notch, Tara's immaculate white skating costume was slashed with charcoal smudges. Ethyl's Eyore Slippers eyes were torn off, the ears chewed up, fur completely gone.

But they were Victorious Over What Was Left of Themselves. They had turned a 21-mile run into a 6-mile scramble. Murphy and the judges held up their score cards, and it was perfect 6.0s throughout.

They ran down a jeep road to the car, where Byron waited and "Giftshop Turquoise" had gone backwards on the trail to look for them. And thusly, in the shortness of time Ethyl and Tara saw "Giftshop Turquoise" coming up from the pits, where she exclaimed "You guys must have gotten seriously lost".

That they did, but having gone back to the point where the Magic Door was locked, they realized that both of them had won a fine set of donkey ears that day. And that ended the Wasatch Fugue In 3 Parts that had commenced a month earlier. Now all that was left is race day, three weeks hence.

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